Ready for the Weekend?: Who says there’s
nothing to do in Santa Barbara on weekends? The Indy’s
pages are jammed with activities to brighten and enrich your life,
from A to Z, running the gamut from altogether amusing to zealously
zesty. Here are my suggestions for the weekend. [Editor’s Note:
This is the first installment of Barney’s new Friday afternoon On
the Beat, where he’ll detail what’s going down in town every
weekend.] It’s not necessarily a “best of,” just this week’s batch
of stuff to get you off the couch and out in the wonderful world of
Santa Barbara and environs.
The Play’s the Thing: We’re blessed with so
much good local theater. On the boards at the Ensemble
Theater is one of Nobel Prize winner Harold
Pinter’s best-known plays, Betrayal (pictured).
It’s the story of an adulterous affair, but told backwards. The
post-breakup first, then ending with the start of it all. It’s
ending its run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7
p.m. Info at 962-8606.
The Santa Barbara City College Theatre
Group opens its season this weekend with playwright
Larry Shue’s The Foreigner. Director
Rick Mokler calls it “an evening of pure fun.” A
shy guy jilted by his wife pretends to be a foreigner with no
knowledge of English, leading to “a hilarious series of twists and
turns.” Call the box office at 965-5935 for reservations. I’ve
never seen a poorly done play there.
Eating Out: When I was a kid on Chicago’s South
Side, my parents never took us out to dinner. I didn’t complain
because Mom was such a great cook. But I’ve learned how to put on
the feedbag in Santa Barbara. Eating out must be the town’s
favorite pastime. The list of good restaurants is long and
ever-changing, but here are a couple of affordable spots, not
high-priced dining, but fun.
The Chase Bar and Grill, 1012 State St., is lit
up with white lights like Christmas. It’s a kick just to look at
the place from the sidewalk. You’re liable to see half the people
you know, so don’t try to sneak in with someone you shouldn’t be
with. This is one friendly place, starting with Todd the bartender.
Sit at the bar alone and you’re no longer a stranger. The food runs
to Italian. Sue enjoyed her calamari and fettuccine Alfredo so much
she took half of it home to eat the next day.
I guess I’m in an Italian mood today because I want to mention a
little place on Upper State next to the San Roque post office at
3343 State St. Via Maestra is small but as real as
something you’d find in a Tuscan town. But with faster service. A
good place to find wine and cheese from the Old Country. Popular at
lunch. There’s a good selection of panini sandwiches and the
bruschetta is enough to fill your stomach.
All That Jazz: Tenor sax man Sonny
Rollins is one of the great names of jazz and he’ll be
bringing his hard-swinging style to UCSB’s Campbell Hall Sunday at
7 p.m. The Village Voice calls him “the last jazz
Dick Smith’s Legacy: If you care about Santa
Barbara County’s wilderness areas and their future, the life and
legacy of journalist-photographer-conservationist Dick
Smith (pictured, feeding horses) will be the subject of a
forum Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural
History’s Fleischmann Auditorium.
Dick, with whom I was proud to work with, hike beside, and learn
from, fought hard for passage of the federal Wilderness Act of 1964
and for the San Rafael Range to be included. When he died at 56 in
1977, admirers lobbied to have an area of 65,000 acres adjoining
the San Rafael Wilderness to be named the Dick Smith Wilderness in
I’ll be moderating the forum, joined by artist Bud
Bottoms, author Ray Ford, and hiker
Jim Mills. Tickets, which will include a wine
reception afterward and a free copy of the Dick Smith monograph
prepared by the Wildling Art Museum (which is sponsoring the
forum), are $15. ($10 for members of either museum.) For
reservations, call 682-4711, Ext. 110.
Take a Hike: Okay, for the first weekend, I’ll
take it easy on you. What could be easier than a stroll from the
harbor to Stearns Wharf? Have a seafood snack on the pier and watch
the action, from people drowning bait from the end of a pole action
to pelicans snoozing to watching the boats going by. Take a look at
the city from out there, as it rises gracefully up from the beach
to the mountains beyond. We work in this gorgeous ocean front town
but how often do we get to the waterfront and just take it all in?
Do yourself a favor.
Moving Pictures: The only movie I’ve seen of
the current showings is the delightful Little Miss
Sunshine, with the cute Olive as one unforgettable child. Sue
is telling everyone how much she chuckled over Keeping
Mum, up at the Riviera, always a good bet even if you have no
idea what’s playing there. Then there’s Clint
Eastwood’s World War II saga, Flags of Our
Fathers, which portrays heroism on sands of Iwo Jima. (He also
made a brother to it, Letters from Iwo Jima, showing the
battle from the Japanese point of view.) A far different saga is
being screened at the Fiesta Five: Marie Antoinette, the
French queen who lost her head.